Publicis Groupe Announces Structural and Leadership Changes

What: Publicis Groupe has announced structural and leadership changes for Publicis Media, the network that groups previously separate media agencies and operations. Starcom and Zenith will becomes a standalone agencies and MediaVest will be merged with Spark to become MediaVest/Spark. Optimedia will merge with Blue 449. A spokesperson at Starcom tells Portada that the multicultural units will not be impacted by the reorganization.
Why it matters:Steve King, CEO of Publicis Media, which oversees all the media agencies, is hoping the moves enable a greater leveraging of scale when competing for new accounts.

images (1)Publicis Groupe has announced structural and leadership changes for Publicis Media, the network that groups previously separate media agencies and operations. The advertising holding company is also consolidating its ad purchasing power at Publicis Media.

As part of these changes, Starcom MediaVest Group will no longer exist as Starcom becomes a standalone agency and MediaVest is being merged with the third SMG agency Spark to become MediaVest/Spark.

ZenithOptimedia will now operate as a standalone agency, while Optimedia will merge with more recently created media agency Blue 449.

Data and tech solutions unit ViVaki will be integrated in a centralized global practices group.

Spark now to become MediaVest/Spark is the Publicis agency that has gained the most accounts lately. Wins include last fall's Taco Bell media assignment.

Ashok Sinha, a spokesperson at Starcom tells Portada that neither Tapestry nor other multicultural units like MV42 will be impacted by the reorganization.

Lisa Donohue will be global president of Starcom, Brian Terkelsen for MediaVest/Spark, Vittorio Bonori for Zenith and Andras Vigh for Optimedia/Blue. Tim Jones, who was previously head of Zenith/Optimedia North America, will now serve as regional CEO for the Americas and four U.S. agency CEOs will report to him.

"The new Publicis Media imagined by Steve King is fully equipped to fit the future and best serve our clients," said Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy in a statement. "A leaner and simpler structure will bring more value to our clients and will further accelerate our growth."

The move follows some troubles the group has been recently facing with the loss of media business from some of its big clients, such as Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart. Publicis maintains that its individual agency brands will continue to play an important role, and in some cases will do media buying deals at the individual agency level.

“Across all practices including trading, data, analytics, and content, I want to try and ensure that we are leveraging that scale as much as possible,” said Steve King, chief executive officer of Publicis Media, who was named in December to lead the media restructuring.

Publicis is currently the second-largest ad buyer in the world right after WPP. Steve King, CEO of Publicis Media, which oversees all the media agencies, hopes the moves enable a greater leveraging of scale when competing for new accounts.

 


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